Food poisoning and pregnancy

90%At least 90% of people who get Listeria infections are either pregnant women and their newborns, people 65 or older, or people with weakened immune systems.
If you, or someone you make food for, are pregnant, 65 or older, or have a weakened immune system, you must be especially careful when selecting, preparing, and storing foods. When someone eats food contaminated with Listeria, sickness or miscarriage may not occur until weeks later when it is difficult to identify which food was the source. Listeria can contaminate many foods that we don't usually cook, like deli meats, cheeses and sprouts. Some foods we might not suspect can be contaminated with Listeria and cause sickness and outbreaks, such as cantaloupe and celery.
Listeria can hide unnoticed in the equipment or appliances where food is prepared, including in factories and grocery stores. Applying new safety measures for food production, like those included in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), so that food doesn't get contaminated in the first place. Reducing Listeria contamination of ready-to-eat meat and poultry products by following USDA guidance [PDF - 2.34 MB]. Having a robust public health system that provides the tools and resources needed to promote food safety. Providing guidance to industry and developing regulations, like FSMA, to focus food safety efforts on safer production and handling of foods. Tracking Listeria infections to identify opportunities to improve policies and practices, particularly to protect groups at higher risk.
Investigating and stopping outbreaks by recalling contaminated foods and warning the public. DNA fingerprinting the Listeria germ to identify outbreaks and contaminated foods, and interviewing people who are sick—quickly and uniformly—about what they ate.
Building public health capacity for advanced genome sequencing and analysis, which will make it possible to more quickly detect Listeria infections and outbreaks, and track them to their sources.
Follow related guidance and regulations that address foods that are more likely to be contaminated. Adopt proven actions like good sanitation and refrigeration in all food production and service facilities for Listeria control. Identify and apply research to better prevent Listeria growth and cross-contamination in factories and stores, such as retail delis.
Tell pregnant women, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems about Listeria and other dangerous germs spread through food. Report Listeria infections quickly to the local health department to help spot and stop outbreaks. Know which foods are risky for pregnant women, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems, and avoid these foods. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours in shallow covered containers and use within 3-4 days. Practical information and tips from the experts to help you and your family stay food safe. Listeria, the third leading cause of death from food poisoning, targets pregnant women and their babies, people  with weakened immune systems, and those 65 years or older. Pregnant women, fetuses, and newborn infantsListeria can pass from a pregnant woman to her fetus or newborn. Adults 65 years or olderListeria can spread through the bloodstream to cause meningitis and often kills. Use a thermometer to make sure your refrigerator is 40°F or lower and your freezer is 0°F or lower. CDC wants to thank Stephanie and her family and the STOP organization for providing public awareness about those impacted by food poisoning. Listeriosis (CDC)General information on diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and lessons from outbreaks.

Listeria monocytogenes (USDA)General information plus directives and notices, compliance guidelines, and more. Undoubtedly, you are making every possible effort to ensure that your pregnancy diet comprises of foods high in nutritive value to ensure optimal growth of developing baby. Raw seafood like oysters, shell fish, prawns and partially or uncooked sushi should be avoided in pregnancy because of the possible bacterial contamination. Cheeses with white mould ripened rind such as Feta cheese, Brie cheese, blue cheese and soft unprocessed cheese are foods not to be eaten in pregnancy.
Liver sausages, fish liver oil supplements and liver products should be avoided in meals as they are very rich in Retinol that is Vitamin A.
Though conclusive evidence is missing, it has been suggested that large amounts of Herbal tea can be harmful in pregnancy as many herbs can cause weight loss which can prove detrimental to adequate growth and development of baby.
Infections usually result in severe diarrhea and in pregnant women the infection usually are mild and have no adverse consequences for mother or child. In some cases, infection in the early stages of pregnancy can cause miscarriages and premature birth. Pregnant women are about 10 times more likely than the general population to get a Listeria infection.
Infection can lead to health complications during pregnancy, including dehydration and bacteremia (bacteria in the blood) which can lead to meningitis. Fish and other seafood are excellent sources of protein and omega-3 fatty acids that are important for fetus development. While pregnant women can consume albacore tuna and tuna steaks, they should limit their tuna intake to 6 ounces a week. Any batter that contains raw eggs, such as cookie, cake or brownie batter, should not be consumed uncooked by pregnant women. When pregnant, a woman should not purchase premade ham salad, chicken salad, or seafood salad which may contain Listeria.
Following the minimum recommend internal temperature is important because meat and poultry may contain E. Wash cutting boards, dishes, counters, utensils, and hands with hot soapy water after contact with raw meat, poultry, seafood, or unwashed fruits or vegetables. While the label may say precooked on the following products, a pregnant woman should reheat these meats to steaming hot or 165 °F before eating. A food-by-food guide to selecting, preparing, and handling foods safely throughout pregnancy.
Download our FoodKeeper application to make sure you are storing food and beverages properly, and using them within recommended storage guidelines.
Pitts, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionStephanie strived to take care of herself and her unborn baby.
Listeria hits these groups the hardest, accounting for at least 90 percent of reported Listeria infections and resulting in higher rates of hospitalization and death than most other foodborne bacteria.
It can cause miscarriage and still birth; in newborns it can cause bloodstream infection, meningitis, or death. However, we can do more to protect those at higher risk for food poisoning and make food safer for everyone. Pitts is the Associate Director of Communications in the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases at the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases of the CDC. Large predator fishes like marlin, swordfish and King Mackerel generally contain high mercury levels bound to their muscles and should not be included in pregnant women’s diet. Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy has been related to increased incidence of low birth weight, miscarriages, decreased intelligence in babies and learning disabilities. Increased intake of caffeinated foods can increase the risk of miscarriage, pregnancy induced hypertension and can even lead to low birth weight in babies.
These foods have a high risk of contamination with listeria bacteria and cause listerosis in pregnant women.

Eggs are an excellent source of good quality protein, but it’s better to eat only fully boiled eggs during pregnancy. Goat’s milk and dairy products made from goat’s milk are best avoided as they have much higher chance of being contaminated with harmful bacteria. This places her and her unborn baby at increased risk of contracting the bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause foodborne illness. Babies born with Salmonella infection may have diarrhea and fever after birth and may develop more serve complications meningitis. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a pregnant woman should try to consume up to 12 ounces a week of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. A food thermometer should be used to ensure that the meat has reached the USDA recommended safe minimum internal temperature.
These meat items may contain Listeria and are unsafe to eat if they have not been thoroughly reheated.
Listeria strikes hard at pregnant women and their newborns, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.
As an ultrasound technologist working with high-risk pregnancies, Stephanie knew more than most what could go wrong during a pregnancy.
While the infection is rare, in 2011, a new source—cantaloupes contaminated with Listeria—caused one of the deadliest foodborne outbreaks in the US. People at higher risk and those who cook for them can reduce the threat of listeriosis by following these food safety tips. Foodborne illnesses can be worse during pregnancy and may lead to miscarriage or premature delivery.
She can safely consume these yummy lunch items by making the salads at home and following the food safety basics of clean, separate, cook and chill. She knew the risks of Listeria--a germ that can cause food poisoning or worse--after seeing its damaging effects firsthand while working at the hospital. Any raw poultry food should be kept separated from cooked or ready to eat food to prevent any possible contamination. Maternal foodborne illness can also lead to death or severe health problems in newborn babies.
If a pregnant woman wants to continue to eat soft cheese, she should make sure to check the label to ensure that the cheese is made from pasteurized milk. Most people found to have Listeria infection require hospital care and about 1 in 5 people with the infection die.
Unfortunately, Stephanie developed listeriosis, an infection caused by eating Listeria-tainted food.
Some foodborne illnesses, such as Listeria and Toxoplasma gondii, can infect the fetus even if the mother does not feel sick.
Pregnant woman should pay particular attention at farmers markets to make sure that fresh and soft cheeses are pasteurized. Outbreak investigations tell us what foods make people sick and what needs to change to make food safer and save lives. Her beautiful son, Michael, delivered brain dead and unable to breathe on his own, died two days later--another casualty of Listeria food poisoning.
This is why doctors provide pregnant women with specific guidelines to foods that they should and should not eat. We have made some progress against Listeria, which is the third leading cause of death from food poisoning. However, we can do more to protect people at higher risk for food poisoning and make food safer for everyone.

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